If I rushed the kids, I think I could fit the whole shebang into one 45-minute class. This time around, however, I did split the class into an intro/drawing/watercolor day, then a tempera day (with time leftover for something else).
To keep track of the different classes, I varied the paper sizes. My favorite was the long and low 6x12" size. The idea to make the paper this size and orientation totally came from one of the first graders--beaten at my own game, I am.
First, we looked at a few photos of cityscapes (thanks, Google), focusing on those with sunsets in the background and the city set in silhouette. Everyone drew their own interesting city line.
Watercolors made the skies look lovely. Some sweeties did have some trouble with blending colors, so some of the skies resemble Fruit Stripe gum, but there's nothing wrong with a good food-related throwback.
On the second day, the kids watched in awe as I used a small flat brush to outline my city in black before filling in the white spaces. And I was pretty impressed with the way they maneuvered their own flat brushes!
My husband didn't believe me when I said that these were the work of first graders. I count that as a win!